Coffee Table Talk: Keep You Feet Off
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Coffee Table Talk: Keep You Feet Off

Why are coffee tables positioned so cleverly in front of a plush leather couch that begs you to lean back and put your feet on it, if we are not supposed to do it? Such a tease. Countless times the crown of my head has met the palm of my mother’s hand as my feet came to rest atop her antique coffee table. The impact alone would ground all ten toes instantly and yet, to this day, I still struggle with the impulse to raise my feet onto my own overpriced table as I recline into my evening cool-down of bad TV and a thawed Hungry Man.

Although a swift swat can generate an instant retraction, it’s not clear why feet-on-table action is considered so uncouth. Culturally speaking, feet have been deemed ‘spiritually tainted’ by many societies. As the lowest point of the body, it’s believed that this is where our negative energy and toxins are stored and, for some, just pointing with your foot is a major insult. Sanitarily speaking, they’re NASTY! The dirt and grime from the sole of your shoes and the fermenting bacteria from your soiled socks transferred onto the surface on which most of us choose to eat our dinner. Bon Appétit!

Appropriately named, coffee tables are just that—tables on which to place your coffee, or preferred libation, when socializing. (Side note: A good host will provide coasters and a respectful guest will use them.) Ours has become permanent home to various books, my favorite of which is titled “The Coffee Table Coffee Table Book”—a fantastic conversation starter.

Whether it be a cup of Joe, an ironic book, or a collection of remotes that control who knows what, your coffee table can play host to a variety of things—none of which should be feet. And if you don’t agree, I’ll introduce you to my mother.

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